SAD NEWS FOR OTHERY
Peggy Gange Harris, who has run Othery's Post Office for 41 years died suddenly on Thursday 7th February. She will be sadly missed by Othery residents and also many past residents and customers from the surrounding area.
Sympathy and thanks have been extended to Peggy's husband Tony, her sons, Hugh and Toby, daughter Anna and daughter-in-law Carol, all of whom have been well known in the village and have supported her during her years at the Post Office.
Currently there is no Post Office in the village, but it is hoped that the facilities will return in the not too distant future.
Othery Post Office
OTHERY ANNUAL STREET FAYRE 2018
Othery Street Fayre 2018 was the usual entertaining day, with stalls and competitions in North Lane and a variety of entertainments, exhibitions and events in the field and the church, a few of which are illustrated below.
Stalls by the church
Soft toy stall
Punch and Judy
Anyone for an ice cream?
THE OTHERY SOCIETY LOCAL HISTORY GROUP IS WINDING UP
At the Othery Society AGM on March 20th, 2018, as part of my annual report I announced that, owing to some members leaving the village or the group, coupled with the increasing age of the now very few remaining members, the Local History Group will regrettably cease to function. We have had a successful and enjoyable 22 years, during which time we have produced a number of exhibitions, books and calendars and paid visits to various interesting places.
We had a winding up meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday April 11th to make possible plans for disposal of our considerable assets. Janet attended from her new home at Taunton, accompanied by Peter, after he had provided us with drinks & nibbles, Colin joined us, and Pat Adamson came in a dual capacity as an ex-member of the group and also representing the Village Hall. Various, hopefully viable, solutions were discussed and will be pursued.
This was followed over tea and biscuits with a ‘Bring and Talk’ session, when we all produced something of loosely historical interest and told its story to the rest of the group, which we found very entertaining. These included Janet’s tailor’s rule for measuring hat sizes, Peter’s badge reminding him of an early Butlin’s visit which was not quite to his taste, Colin’s grandfather’s WWI and WWII medals including the DSM, and Brian’s great uncle Captain Doidge’s theodolite which he used in the Cornish mines and Canada.
The whole afternoon was so successful, we have decided we must have a ‘Reunion’ at some date in the not too distant future.
WWI and WWII medals
OTHERY SOCIETY LOCAL HISTORY GROUP MEETING
JULY 21st 2017
At the Othery Street Fayre in June, Mr Robert Pocock who was visiting from Blagdon Hill, very kindly lent us an old ledger from 1939-1940, which had belonged to his grandfather, Mr Ernest Pocock, the local coal merchant. Mr Pocock was resident at Burrow Bridge, but also delivered to Othery. We spent a happy couple of hours listening to Mervyn and Ruth reminiscing and telling interesting/amusing anecdotes about many of the characters who appeared in Mr Pocock’s ledger. Ruth was also delighted to see the names of her father, Mr Tom Groves and grandmother, Mrs Maria Tucker, appearing in the list of Mr Pocock’s customers.
After partaking of special cake and biscuits with our coffee, we said our goodbyes to Janet, who is moving out of the village. After discussion, it was decided that owing to the increasing age and reduction in numbers of the group, we would in future meet quarterly, instead of monthly. Hopefully Janet will be able to attend some of the meetings.
The next meeting will be on October 25th at 7.45 at Elm Bungalow, Middlefield.
OTHERY ANNUAL STREET FAYRE 2017
The 27th Othery Street Fayre was held on Saturday June 17th to raise money towards the maintenance of the village church of St Michael.
North Lane with church and stalls
North Lane, which runs parallel with the main road through the village was closed for the day and filled with stalls and attractions of many kinds. Entertainments during the day included a bouncy castle, Punch and Judy and Lord Lollipop to entertain the children and Tai Chi, Dancefit and Taekwondo demonstrations, exhibitions and a fun dog show for everyone else. Music was provided by the Phoenix Somerset Band, Taunton Ukekele Strummers and the Gary French Band as well as sessions of organ music taking place in the church.
Of course, no Othery Street Fayre would be complete without a ‘Guess the weight ‘ competition run by the owners of the village alpacas and the ‘First Drop’ competition. What is that? Well, a map of a field is produced for people to buy a small square to guess where a cow, when released, makes her ‘first drop’! No prizes for guessing of what, just the correct location!
Refreshments of all kinds were available throughout the day and as the evening wore on, music could be heard emanating from a marquee in the playing field to accompany the pig roast. This year the weather was hot and sunny (almost too hot) which helped to make the day an all round success.
Display of vintage tractors
OTHERY LOCAL HISTORY GROUP OUTING JUNE 6th 2017
Possibly our final outing was to the newly opened Somerset Rural Life Museum at Glastonbury. We all felt the refurbishment was a huge improvement and enjoyed many reminders of our own earlier days! Although very windy, the weather allowed us to enjoy the 14th Century barn and outdoor exhibits as well as the various galleries and exhibitions in the house, with a well earned break for tea and cakes. Our photo was taken in the farmyard next to the brilliantly constructed iron horse, made of all manner of metal items, including tractor seats, hinges and saw blades!
Our illustrated church booklet has now been printed and is available in the church.
APRIL 12th 2017 OTHERY CHURCH 2.30.
We spent the afternoon in the church, retaking photographs which needed an upgrade in quality and also some items of interest which we had missed previously. We then adjourned to Keens Barn Cottage for discussion and tea. It was decided that there was sufficient of interest to expand the original 8 sides of A5 to 12.
MARCH 21st 2017 OTHERY VILLAGE HALL 7.30.
Local History Group report given to the AGM of the Othery Society, of which we are a sub group.
MARCH 15th 2017 KEENS BARN COTTAGE, 7.45.
A local metal detector enthusiast, who had surveyed the Keens Barn Orchard last autumn, came to talk about and demonstrate the capabilities of his equipment, including a brand new computerised model. He also told us about a few of his ‘finds’ including a 1799 George III penny which he had found in our orchard. Sadly no valuable hoard had turned up! However, he is intending to return to Keens Barn and Middlefield at a later date.
JANUARY 15th 2017 AVIEMORE, KEENS LANE, 7.45
& FEBRUARY 22nd 2017 BELVEDERE, KEENS LANE. 7.45
Our meetings in January and February were spent collating and editing the photographs taken in the church last April to produce a preliminary version of the booklet to be available in the church for visitors.
We also noted that the 2017 calendar had not sold as successfully as previous issues.
LOCAL HISTORY GROUP VISIT TO RICH'S CIDER AT WATCHFIELD SEPTEMBER 14TH 2016
On the afternoon of Wednesday September 14th, the Local History Group made a short visit to Rich’s Cider at Watchfield. We watched thousands of apples being washed and processed, before wandering around the small museum and the site in the sunshine. Although there was not as much to see of the cider making as we had anticipated from their advertisement, there were other things to see and we finished our afternoon with a very enjoyable cream tea in the café.
LOCAL HISTORY GROUP OUTING TO BISHOPS LYDEARD MILL JUNE 7TH 2016
On Tuesday June 7th six members of our group visited Bishops Lydeard Mill. We were sorry that the remaining three members could not be present.
We set off on a glorious sunny afternoon, which enhanced the mill and its surroundings. A family run concern, the lower two floors describe the functions of the mill, with the machinery operating from the exterior water mill and exhibited with realistic life-size figures, as well as an extremely interesting video. The rooms in the two upper floors have similar exhibitions of local crafts, including the saddler, thatcher, cooper and wheelwright and many other smaller items to see .
We followed this by wandering around the beautifully kept garden and passed by the leat, populated by ducks, and the wheel itself, en route to the tea room to round off our visit with tea and cakes. We all agreed that Bishops Lydeard Mill is a treasure to be heartily recommended.
The following photos show the wheelwright and cooper at work.